The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It was a formal statement announcing the independence of the United States of America from the British Empire.
This extraordinary document is at the heart of America’s democratic ideals. Kids can learn to appreciate it for the national treasure that it is. There are some fine websites that examine the Declaration of Independence and break it down for lessons to match specific grade levels.
01 of 05
BrainPOP offers a fun lesson created for younger kids that explains the basics of the historic proclamation. In the three-minute streaming cartoon video, a young man explains the Declaration of Independence to a funny robot.
The content is educational and very appealing. Younger kids will take away some simple facts while older kids will absorb all of the video’s information. Along with the video, you'll find interactive activities like a quiz, map feature, and lesson plans. It is a great starting point for learning about the Declaration of Independence.
It should be noted that BrainPOP is a subscription service. Some schools subscribe and parents may be able to use that feature to log in to the service as well. None the less, the monthly fee is reasonable and, for the quality of lessons provided on a variety of subjects, it may be worth checking out.
02 of 05
The website Congress For Kids has a simple, kid-friendly webpage created specifically for younger children. The free site offers the fundamentals of the Declaration of Independence in a straightforward manner with vocabulary appropriate for ages 6 through 10.
To help kids remember what they learn in the lessons, fun activities are provided. You can print out a word search or scramble, for instance. It also offers tidbits like "Projects You Can Do" and "Things to Think About," along with links recommended books and related resources.
03 of 05
The Central Rappahannock Regional Library provides an overview of the timeless document. This page is an ideal launching point for middle school students.
The brief essay is written to engage kids and get them thinking about the underlying causes of the call for independence. It also includes information about how the men behind the document viewed its importance.
On the library's page, you'll find some great resources as well. It includes a list of books and websites pertaining to the Declaration of Independence. Your kids can also explore related topics such as the Founding Fathers, Colonial Williamsburg, and the year 1776 in history.
04 of 05
The U.S. National Archives offers an in-depth look at the Declaration of Independence that is ideal for high school students. This resource is perfect material for any history class project and offers a great deal of insight and information teens are looking for.
The website offers a full transcript of the document, essays on what's included and how it's made, and facts about the men who signed it. It's a trusted resource and they offer links to others, which can help complete any report on the topic.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
No matter what age, reading or hearing the exact words of the Declaration of Independence can be helpful as kids work on their lessons. The best place to do that is through the National Archives. This is where a full transcript, as well as high-resolution images of the actual document, can be found.
There is a great value to this first-hand experience. The Declaration is more than a patriotic symbol. It is more than a priceless artifact preserved in a museum. It is a living document that sums up our national character. It needs to be read by its fortunate heirs, in order to be truly appreciated.
That's why it's a good idea to take the time and read through it. It is only a little over a thousand words, though they are among the most influential thousand words ever written. For further study, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are also available at the National Archives.